Digging Dahlias

The dahlia garden

Once again I walked into the barn to get the plastic pots to store my dahlia’s in and got sidetracked.  The barn was such a mess and it was still early in the day…

So when I finished cleaning the barn I threw the plastic pots in the wheelbarrow with my shovel and clippers and started digging.

I separated the dahlia’s by color into pots and took the wheelbarrow full of dead plants into the barnyard for the donkeys and sheep to feast on.

Well, Fanny and Lulu got a nice meal anyway.  They made sure the sheep didn’t get any dahlias.  But I did give Liam and Socks a couple of the last rotting apples from the tree to snack on.

Then I brought the dahlia bulbs into the cold storage room in the basement for the winter.  Soon they’ll be joined by my potted fig tree and some seeds.

There was one dahlia that I didn’t dig up.  This one, protected from the frost by the bilco doors and the side of the house, was the only dahlia that survived the frost.

I think when I do dig it up, I’ll mark it and plant it in the same spot next year.


Early Autumn Swamp

I woke up this morning stiff from sitting so much yesterday and craving a walk.  So I got out into the woods early, which I rarely do.

The sun was shining through the ferns in the dried up swamp along the path.  This is the same swamp I’ve been taking videos of since the winter.  Some of the ferns are turning rusty and yellow, but most of them are still green. There’s still mud and a few mosquitos, but the water dried up in August.

The air was cool, but I could already smell the warmth rising from the earth.  And with it the promise of a gentle fall day.

Coming Home Soon

Thank you all for your good thoughts and words.  It was nice to wake up to this morning.

So far this morning I gave scratched Buds belly as he snuggled up next to me in bed, I gave the donkey’s apples, watched Fate “get the sheep”, threw a ball for Zinnia and ate breakfast outside with the cats.

This was in-between phone calls and texts from Jon.  His last one was that he was still waiting for the doctor to come so he could be released from the hospital and come home.

It will take me a little over an hour to get to the hospital. I’ll call Jon when I get close and he’ll meet me outside. It’s as simple as that.

Now all we need is a bit of patience.

Jon’s Happy Heart

I just got home from the hospital.  Jon’s catheterization went very well.  The surgeon was able to open the artery and put a stent in it.

As much as I loved Jon’s old heart, because it works so much better,  I love his new one even more.

The surgery took about two hours and during that time I sat in the waiting room and made the drawing above.  I started it by copying a drawing of a cross-section of a heart that was hanging on the waiting room wall.  I was trying to put as much positive energy into my happy heart drawing as possible.

Jon just called and said he was going to try to sleep.  I’m going to do the same.


Evidence Of Rebirth

Except for the hardy sedum and some of the Black-eyed Susans, most of the flowers in my gardens died in the three nights of frost.

But overnight I saw this orange nasturtium had popped up in my vegetable garden.

As Jon was putting on his shoes this morning he said to me, “Every time I think my life is beginning to end, I discover it is really just another beginning.” 

We are surrounded by constant evidence of rebirth.  All we have to do is be open and observant enough to see it.

Corona Kimono 9/23/20

What just months ago would have seemed like a scene from a bad Sci-Fi movie, is now normal.

On Saturday I went with Jon to get a COVID 19 test before his surgery.

We drove into a parking lot behind Saratoga Hospital and waited in the car under a canopy for a nurse covered from head to toe wearing a blue gown, mask, face shield, and rubber gloves.   She came out and stuck a swab in Jon’s mouth then retreated to the storage contain/makeshift lab with the specimen.  We never got out of the car.

Jon had done this already before his first surgery a few weeks ago, so he knew what to expect and luckily wasn’t worried about a  positive test result.

It was the strangest drive-thru I’ve ever been to.

You can see my latest entry on my Corona Kimono on the right sleeve.

Being With Jon

Jon at MASS MoCA

Tomorrow is Jon’s, second heart catheterization. I am what I believe to be appropriately nervous and optimistic without being pollyannish.

I was relieved to find out this morning that I can go with Jon into the hospital when he’s admitted and stay with him till just before the surgery.  Then I’ll be able to see him after the surgery without having to wait for visiting hours which are later in the day.

This catheterization is more complicated than the last and this time we know Jon will be staying overnight at Albany Med which is over an hour away from the farm.

Jon’s a good healer.  Not patient, but his body bounces back.  I think it’s partly genetic, but also his love of life and his drive and determination to put his work out into the world.

Today Jon wrote once again on his blog about the refugee families of the kids at  Bishop Maginn who are in need of food.  He wrote:

“…rather than flowers or cards or good wishes, what would make me the happiest and comfort me the most would be Price Chopper and Wal-Mart gift cards so we could be prepared to distribute them to these families as the need arises.

He does this out of goodness, but also because it makes him feel good. And that’s why I’ve included it here too.

It makes me feel good to think that while I’m waiting to hear from the surgeon that Jon’s surgery was successful, I’ll know that, just blocks from the hospital where Jon and I are, people who are in need of food will be able to feed their families.





Spice Box Altar

The old spice box hanging above the altar in my studio had become an impromptu altar of its own.

On it, among other things, are the red doll shoes my friend Cindy gave me, sewing needles that I found in the bottom of a box of fabric that someone sent me with a note reading: Textiles from Jean Scott (her mother’s) needles from Uncle Franks Store, a Day of the Dead cat from our trip to New Mexico and Emily’s wistful collage which shows her feelings about Autumn. (and doesn’t that cat work nicely with Emily’s collage)

I’m not sure how each of these things made their way to the top of the spice box.  But every one of them has a particular feeling for me.  Some from people I have close relationships with and some from people I don’t even know.

Full Moon Fiber Art